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'Gentle soul' and 'caring' father died after being hit by train in Derbyshire

David Norman's inquest started at Chesterfield coroners' court this week.
David Norman's inquest started at Chesterfield coroners' court this week.

A 'gentle soul' died when he was struck by a train, an inquest heard.

Train driver David Norman, 33, passed away on the railway near Alfreton last summer.

Chesterfield coroners' court was told Mr Norman, of Thornhill Drive, South Normanton, is believed to have carried out a 'deliberate act' by standing in front of the train.

His widow Rachel Norman said in a statement: "David was a caring and loyal man.

"He was such a gentle soul.

"He always wanted to be a train driver and was dedicated to his job."

'Under pressure'

The court heard father Mr Norman - who was not thought to suffer from mental health problems - was hit by a train which was travelling at between 65 to 75mph on the afternoon of June 12, 2017.

The driver of the train said in a statement: "All of a sudden a man walked out in front of the train - I was about 15 to 20 feet away from him.

"I had no chance of stopping."

The inquest heard Mr Norman suffered a sprained ankle and was prescribed medication in the month before he died.

He was unable to drive trains because of the medication so was found 'suitable alternative work' in the trade union office.

Days before his death, Mr Smith told a manager he was 'keen to go back to driving' and was 'coming off the medication', the court heard.

Mrs Norman said her husband - who was employed by East Midlands Trains (EMT) - 'felt under pressure at work'.

But Paul Smith, driver manager at EMT, said the company did not put any pressure on him.

'Deliberate act'

Paul Simmonds, a rail fatality investigation officer for British Transport Police, said Mr Norman 'became upset after a minor argument' on the day before his death and was involved in another 'minor argument' on the day the tragedy happened.

Mr Simmonds concluded there were no suspicious circumstances or third party involvement in Mr Norman's death.

He added: "It appears David carried out a deliberate act by standing in front of the train."

Coroner Peter Nieto adjourned the inquest to a later date.

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